Then I got a Twitter message.
I kinda wanted to run this race to be honest. I had a great outfit planned for it already if I did decide to run, so I was glad when I finally caved, because I got to wear all this great gear!
I had my cannot-race-without items. My Brooks Adrenalines, Pro Compression marathon socks and my Team Sparkle skirt, with a new addition of Team Sparkle leg sleeves. Though this time I was inspired to change it up a bit, thanks to my friend Jill who gave me this idea (Thanks Jill!) I decided to layer my green and gold skirts, wearing them both for the race. It was brilliant! It looked so good and I got so many compliments!
Race day morning and I was ready to go! I felt good and fresh for this run, having come off a nice and easy run on Thursday I was ready to stretch my legs a bit and get my racing on.
I met up with the guys from Gametiime, Jon and Don, in the green wave and talked a bit before the horn sounded and we were off!
I talked with Don a bunch about life and running in general. Jon was running with us, but also busy taking lots of pictures.
Smile! Though this was the time that it was really tough to smile because we were going along the first half of the race that was a slow and steady uphill grade for two. whole. miles. UGH! My lungs were so pissed at me!!! My legs were getting fatigued at this time, but not nearly as bad as my lungs. They were seriously protesting! But we ran and climbed that hill, all the way up to the turnaround point. You know what that means? DOWNHILL TIME!!!
Jon and I heading downhill towards the finish.
Don was a camper and kept pushing me and encouraging me letting me know the finish was coming up and we could see it. See these guys are faster, much faster than me by at least 3-4 minutes a mile, but they stuck with me the entire race at a slower pace than theirs, they were awesome!
However I wasn't running at my usual pace though. I was flying a bit and I knew it. I knew I was going to get a PR this race, I just didn't know how much of one I would get. Then that last .25 I really had to dig deep, I wanted so badly to stop and walk, but I would not do it. I had come this far in the race and I was not going to walk. I took a brief walk before mile 2 to let me catch my breath during a particularly steep part of the climb, but that was only 20 seconds, all that other time I ran. I've never done that before and I wasn't going to walk when I could see the finish line right in front of me. So I dug in and gained a little bit of speed as I crossed the finish line. But I was done, I had finished and I was spent!
The guys and I after we finished! It was good to be done and I was glad to have these guys along for the run!
It wasn't until after I looked down at my garmin did I realize how big of a PR I had. Last years time was 47:03 and this years official time (from the website) was 38:48, a difference of 8:55!! Almost a 9 minute PR over my time last year! I was ELATED! I couldn't believe it. I had conquered the hill and ran that race leaving everything out on the course. I was happy. I was thrilled. I was...wait, where's the beer garden?
Ah! That's better! See last year being in the red wave and taking almost 50 minutes to finish the race made the line to get into the beer garden nearly impossible to wait through. But with being in the green wave and running it in under 40 minutes, meant there was practically no line and I got in to enjoy a tasty St. Patty's Day brew! Cheers!
The guys hung out and had a beer as well and we got to experience the St. Patty's Dash beer garden firsthand.
Kinda felt like a frat party. Oh no...I'm getting flashbacks from my college days!!
Though one FABULOUS surprise was running into an old friend of mine at the beer garden, NOELLE! She is such a sweetie and totally fun! She ran the race with a bunch of her friends as well. She's a speedy one, so I wouldn't have been able to keep up with her, but it was great to catch up with her at the "after party". We were showing off our cool socks!!
The guys had to get going and I was meeting up with a friend of mine as well, so we said our goodbyes and headed out of the festivities. Overall, the race was good. For it essentially being a 6K, just short of 4 miles, this was a good, hard race. That hill kills, but on the downhill I was able to fly. My pace at one point going downhill was 9:50, letting the momentum help me, it was great! But I learned a lot about myself during this race. I found out that I can run faster and stronger than I thought I could. That I do have the endurance to run races of these shorter distances without taking walk breaks. And that I can be better than I was before, if only I would get out of my own way.
I'm glad I ran this race and I'm lucky to have had two guys along with me on that journey. Don and Jon, thanks guys for a great race and I'll be here to support you and your company on it's long and prosperous journey. Cheers to the future of racing!
Not much might have changed in a year, but I know that I have. I'm a much more confident runner and racer and I can't wait to see what my future holds. All I know is I am excited!